Ruth Lechuga in Bellingham
One day I was visiting the Mexican National folk art museum in Mexico City and I ran into Ruth Lechuga the retired senior curator of the museum. I asked her if, now that she was retired, she did any traveling. “No.” she responded, “There’s not enough money for that.” I immediately asked her if we paid her airfare and provided ten days room and board, would she be willing to come to Bellingham and give three lectures on the folk arts of Mexico. She agreed but, she said, she had one request. She explained that on retiring she had a drink of tequila, Herradura. No problem.
When I got back to Bellingham I contacted three attorney’s offices and asked if they would sponsor a lecture for $150 dollars. All agreed immediately so that covered the airfare. Since Ruth would be staying with me there would be no other expenses. I asked Ruth to dress in traditional native clothing for the lectures and she indicated that would be no problem as she had over 2,000 items of native folk clothing in her collection. She also had over 1,500 masks. Her collection was greater than that of the national folk art museum.